Coconut oil rocks our world for many reasons, the main one being that it's so cheap (a £10 500ml jar can last up to a year) and can be used for so many things. It's solid until it reaches 25C, making it easy to spread or use as a body cream, or as a hair mask when liquid. Forget your huge wash bag when you’re packing for your summer holiday - a jar of this is all you’ll need!
It's worth noting that not all coconut oils are created equal. You'll definitely want to opt for unrefined oil, as it's closer to its natural state and hasn't been filtered using bleaching clay, unlike the refined version. If you can, go for organic to ensure it's pesticide-free, or cold-pressed, meaning it's been extracted from the coconut in a way that maintains slightly more of its nutritional value. However, don't be swayed by all the fancy extra words you might see on packaging; 'virgin', 'raw' and 'extra-unrefined' mean the same thing as 'unrefined', which is the only buzzword you need to be looking out for.
Coconut oil is indeed a wonder product, thanks to its anti-ageing, healing, moisturising and restorative properties for your outsides and your insides. Read on for our favourite ways to use the miracle that is indeed coconut oil...
1. Oil pulling
Coconut oil can whiten teeth, draw out lingering toxins and leftover food, and even help the skin around your jaw and mouth plus your lymph nodes.
How to do it: Pop a teaspoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swill it around your teeth and front of your mouth to draw toxins out. Swill it for a minimum of four minutes, up to 20 minutes. The important thing is to keep the oil at the front of your mouth, and not let it go towards your throat and definitely don't swallow - through swishing, the oil will build up toxins that might make you feel ill if accidentally ingested. It's powerful stuff!
2. Hair conditioner
Coconut oil is actually the only oil with molecules small enough to fit inside the hair shaft - meaning it can actually be absorbed by the hair, rather than just coating it. Either use it as a mask or a frizz-tamer - a little goes a long way!
How to do it: For a mask, coat your hair from halfway to the ends, wrap in a bun and leave for 20 minutes to overnight before washing as normal. To fight frizz and add shine, warm a tiny nugget between your palms and run your hands through your hair.
3. Body moisturizer
Coconut oil can instantly soothe any dry or rough patches, and skin pretty much drinks it up. In the summer, it can add a gorgeous sheen that doesn't feel greasy or sweaty - ideal!
How to do it: warm a teaspoon of coconut oil between your hands and then rub in to your skin. Use a towel to remove excess oil. You will smell, and look delicious!
Coconut oil can even be used to clean your pearly whites - we already know it can detox your mouth, but for extra scrubbing power you're going to need some grit.
How to do it: Mix a teaspoon of coconut oil with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, and then brush and rinse as normal.
5. Bites and stings
If you're a mosquito magnet, then you're going to love this. A lot of bite-soothing products can be drying and full of chemicals, but coconut oil is a natural itch reliever and moisturises the angry area at the same time.
How to do it: Holding a warm spoon on the bite first really takes the itch out. Then apply a thin layer of the oil on the bite and don't rub it in: the antibacterial properties will speed healing and the oil layer will keep dust and dirt out of your bite.
Coconut oil is really healthy to cook with: it takes much longer to overheat, meaning it takes longer for its healthy fats to turn into unhealthy fats. It's quite filling, so it can supress your appetite and squash your hunger pangs. Perfect!
How to do it: Just basically use it in place of cooking oils and butter. Spread this wonder oil on toast instead of butter, or add a dollop to smoothies for a coconut-y taste. Use for frying or baking, add a teaspoon to coffee for an added health benefit and when liquid, use as a delicious base for salad dressing.
Winter skin is often sallow and dry, so using this oil with something grainy as an exfoliator will get your skin ready for summer.
How to do it: Find an empty jar, mix rock salt or brown sugar with the oil, whatever form it's in. Add whatever you want - peppermint oil for increased circulation, used coffee granules to beat cellulite, or vanilla for a dreamy scent. Mix together until it's the texture of a dense scrub. Rub all over your body before showering and you will come out soft as a newborn.
8. Cuticle Oil
Ever wonder why your nail beds always look so much better after a salon visit, no matter how perfectly you paint? Odds are, you're forgetting one crucial step in your DIY mani: cuticle oil. It strengthens your nails and keeps the skin supple and moisturised, and coconut oil does just the trick.
How to do it: Dip a cotton swab in liquid coconut oil and dab a dot on each cuticle. Rub in after your nails have dried and admire your healthy-looking nails!
9. Shaving Cream
Coconut oil can help you get the closest shave ever, plus it really moisturises your skin and lessens the chance of pesky razor bumps.
How to do it: Wash your area, then apply a thin layer of coconut oil. Shave away - no need to moisturise afterwards.
10. Make-up Remover
Any type of make-up can be wiped away with coconut oil, even the most stubborn waterproof mascara. It also helps protect and moisturise the fragile skin around your eyes, and its slippery texture means you won't be tugging and pulling at your skin and eyelashes.
How to do it: Dampen a cotton pad in warm water (this helps melt and emulsify the oil, meaning it's not too heavy) and swirl it on top of some solid coconut oil. Wipe away your makeup, and cleanse afterwards to wash away the lingering traces of dirt and makeup.
Vita Coco Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is £9.99 from Ocado
WATCH: InStyle's Arabella Greenhill uses Coconut Oil in one of her delicious NutriBullet recipes...